Saturday, September 25, 2010

Harvest time in full swing

We are busy harvesting and processing to have food to eat in the winter months.  This year there are amazing blackberries and we are cooking them with (traded) windfall apples to make jam and crumble fillings to freeze. yesterday we harvested the Almond and walnuts (yes we beat the squirrels this year!) see photo for harvesting with a rake tied to a long pole!  We gathered about one and a half three gallon buckets of walnuts (a good harvest) in their green overcoats.  Also busy processing seeds; Spinach and spinach beet, rocket, lettuce, melon, leek and onion,celeriac and celery, beetroot (red and white). Busy, busy,  busy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer Roundup

Here at last is a (rather guilty) post.  Somehow the summer has gone by in a flash without my making the time to catch up, sorry.
This has been a good productive year in the garden and with the bees.  Three months of drought in the main part of the summer led to my spending an hour a day watering the vegetable plot from the reed bed and well (managed to avoid the use of mains water)  The forestry commission came through with their permission to carry on coppicing the wood and plant more trees to fill the gaps (all winter work)  I gave/sold 9 lots of bees to beginner beekeepers and go into the winter with 13colonies (I will have to sell some of them in the spring).   We had over 60 peaches on our 3 year old tree in spite of having peach leaf curl in the spring.
The chickens have reared 17 chicks at least 9 of them cockerels (a few not big enough to tell yet!).  One high point was our open weekend last weekend with 152 visitors.  This followed a major interview with BBC Essex radio (now on our website) which brought a lot of people in.  The harvesting and processing goes on apace.  bottling fruit, freezing beans and tomatoes etc.  A good treatment for powdery mildew from the Internet was spraying the leaves with (dilute) baking soda mixture.
Anyhow I will try and make time to post now as the days grow longer
happy equinox (nearly!)